Satellite Groundstation

2018 Satellite CTO Timothy Guo with Steffany Synge testing an antenna using an SDR (Software Defined Radio).
Members of BLUEsat UNSW’s groundstation team work on a variety of telecommunications engineering tasks.

BLUEsat UNSW’s Groundstation Team works on communication with satellites. In the Groundstation Team, students from UNSW Sydney work on projects to develop Radio, Microwave and Visible/Infra-red Light communication systems. BLUEsat UNSW also operates and maintains a radio groundstation for use in ongoing space missions and telecommunication education. The groundstation team provides a platform for students to learn communication with electromagnetic radiation, satellite telecommunications and the operation and maintenance of radio hardware. In May of 2016, the BLUEsat ground station completed it’s Stage 1 re-commissioning by bouncing an APRS packet off the International Space Station.

 

The BLUEsat Ground Station Team is associated with ACSER (Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research) in their operation of the EC0 CubeSat, which was Australia’s first satellite in 15 years. The aim of the project is to gather research on thermospheric conditions and their interactions with aerospace equipment (link to blog post). ACSER is also a group under UNSW Sydney that focuses on space related technologies and research, often providing guidance for BLUEsat.

The groundstation is located in Sydney, Australia with capabilities in VHF and UHF. Our system is automated with tracking capabilities for remote operation and service for satellite communication.

BLUEsat UNSW also facilitates an Amateur Radio exam allowing for the certification and legal use of Amateur Radio frequency bands. This is in association with the St George Radio Society who provides the examination and staff.

Our projects involve the use of Visible/Infra-red Lasers for optical communication with Visible\Infra-red Light and the use of computer software to receive and process radio and microwave signals. We give students Telecommunications Engineering challenges which involve software, radio and electrical knowledge. Members are trained in these areas, even without prior knowledge.

Our Groundstation

BLUEsat UNSW's groundstation tracking the EC0 satellite. The screen displays the location of a few other satellites and BLUEsat's Sydney based groundstation for reference.
BLUEsat’s groundstation team support ACSER in comunicating with the EC0 satellite. One of the first satellites launched by Australians in 15 years.

Our ground station operates from UNSW Sydney’s Kensington Campus. If you are a university or amateur group who need Southern Hemisphere groundstation support we may be able to help (depending on our volunteer’s availability, workload and other constraints).

Groundstation Specs:

  • Frequencies of Operation: UHF (Ultra High Frequency, ~436MHz) and VHF (Very High Frequency, ~144MHz)
  • Power Output: 17dBm
  • Antennae Directionality: VHF 13.1 dBi gain, 36deg half-beam-width; UHF 17.6 dBi gain, 25deg half beam width
  • Location: 33.918900 S, 151.231303 E

Interested in having BLUEsat support your space mission? Send us an email at info@bluesat.com.au.